Benjamin Allport, Girton

Degree: PhD
Course: ASNC
Supervisor: Dr E Rowe

Biographical Information

Ben is a member of the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic department. He recently submitted his PhD entitled 'The Regional Communities of Viking Age Norway and their Contribution to Socio-Political Dynamics, c. 900–1050' and is currently involved in the creation of an online A-level resource for Scandinavian history in assocation with the department.

Ben first attended ASNaC for his undergraduate degree in 2009, graduating in the summer of 2012 having specialised in Scandinavian history, Irish Sea history, Medieval law and Old English (writing an undergraduate dissertation on sin and temptation in Old English Christian literature). He then spent a year, respectively, in Reykjavík and Oslo while completing a joint Nordic MA/MPhil in Viking and Medieval Norse, which he completed in the summer of 2014 having studied Old Norse, runology, Old Nordic religions, Western Scandinavian Palaeography, Early Medieval Culture and linguistic aspects of settlement in the British Isles from the Roman to Norman periods and conducted research into techniques of annual time reckoning and chonological structuring in Old Icelandic historiographical literature.

Research Interests

Ben's primary research interests focus on the construction of collective identity in Medieval Scandinavia (particularly in Norway and Iceland). His PhD research reconstructs named communities using a combination of community names preserved in literary sources and archaeological evidence for regional power centres. It also analyses the role of these communities in the development of state formation impulses in tenth- and eleventh-century Scandinavia. Ben has also conducted research into the creation of Icelandic collective identity in medieval scholarly texts through the use of continental learned techniques (particularly chronological structure).

Ben's research emphasises empiricism and data-collection. He also has a keen interest in techniques often associated with the digital humanities, such as Social Network Analysis (SNA) and other forms of network analysis, which he integrated into his PhD research and hopes to pursue in future.

Areas of Supervision

Since 2015, Ben has regularly supervised undergraduates in Old English language and literature and Scandinavian History. He has also delivered lectures to masters' students and inundergraduates in Norwegian history in both Oslo and Cambridge and will begin text classes in Old and Middle English linguistics in 2019.

Selected Publications

‘The Construction and Reconstruction of Regional Collective Identity in Viking Age Norway’, Quaestio Insularis: Selected Proceedings of the Cambridge Colloquium in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (2018), pp. 78–119.

‘Norwegian or Northern: The Construction and Mythography of Háleygr Identity, c. 800–1050’ (under review).

‘Time and Space in the Chronological Structure of Íslendingabók and Icelandic Learned History’ (under review).

‘The Voyages of Leifr Eiríksson and Norse Identity in the Middle Ages’, Norge og USA: Fortid: Studentenes Historietidsskrift UiO 4/2016 (2016).